Colorado archery elk, first hunt

hoff1ck

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Jul 13, 2016
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Michigan
About the 12 days? Yeah with 12 days my pack weight would be around 65lbs. While I can carry that, I’d prefer to be lighter. My goal has been 50 is. Think I’m at 55 now bow and food. I have a 65mm spotting scope and tripod in that too. My thoughts with that have been probably won’t help for elk for archery (assuming they will mostly be in thicker timer) but we have planned on maybe having a recover day maybe day 5 to 8, some where in that range and I’d like to look for bear. I don’t know how realistic that is but I killed a black bear last year out of pure luck and now I just really want to kill another. My partner, elk is like his dream harvest. Id just assume kill a bear lol. Elk are awesome, don’t get me wrong. I just think taking a bear is cool too.
Unless you’re counting inches and being picky, the weight savings on the spotter/tripod is probably worth dropping.
 
OP
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Crjones8

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Unless you’re counting inches and being picky, the weight savings on the spotter/tripod is probably worth dropping.
Thanks! It can be hard for a new guy to axe a cool new piece of gear from the list without hearing it from someone else. I figure the bear, especially only dedicating a day or two solely to a bear is probably slim anyway. I had a coworker have a bear close by last year during her elk hunt not that far from some of our proposed spots and hearing that probably falsely has my hopes up for one.
 

hunt1up

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Thanks! It can be hard for a new guy to axe a cool new piece of gear from the list without hearing it from someone else. I figure the bear, especially only dedicating a day or two solely to a bear is probably slim anyway. I had a coworker have a bear close by last year during her elk hunt not that far from some of our proposed spots and hearing that probably falsely has my hopes up for one.
Definitely don't need the spotter.
 

3forks

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Oct 4, 2014
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About the 12 days? Yeah with 12 days my pack weight would be around 65lbs. While I can carry that, I’d prefer to be lighter. My goal has been 50 is. Think I’m at 55 now bow and food. I have a 65mm spotting scope and tripod in that too. My thoughts with that have been probably won’t help for elk for archery (assuming they will mostly be in thicker timer) but we have planned on maybe having a recover day maybe day 5 to 8, some where in that range and I’d like to look for bear. I don’t know how realistic that is but I killed a black bear last year out of pure luck and now I just really want to kill another. My partner, elk is like his dream harvest. Id just assume kill a bear lol. Elk are awesome, don’t get me wrong. I just think taking a bear is cool too.
I tried to quote Flatlander, but screwed it up.

It‘s rainy and supposed to snow here in CO today, so I‘ll be cooped up inside today.

Anyway, I was hoping you’d tell us you were using Army surplus gear and you weren’t concerned about fitness because you played college baseball. That’s a typical reply from someone who posed the questions you have, and would have given us pages more of entertainment.
 
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Crjones8

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I tried to quote Flatlander, but screwed it up.

It‘s rainy and supposed to snow here in CO today, so I‘ll be cooped up inside today.

Anyway, I was hoping you’d tell us you were using Army surplus gear and you weren’t concerned about fitness because you played college baseball. That’s a typical reply from someone who posed the questions you have, and would have given us pages more of entertainment.
No to all of that lol. I was fortunate enough to get a couple months training up in Bridgeport California. Not hunting related at all but a lot of hikes at various distances at somewhat reasonable elevation. I think most was 8-9k feet some higher up to 11k was the highest I went I think maybe 10k. It’s been a long time but I remember I went in really good shape, got my shit pushed in and left in probably the best shape I will have ever been at lol. So I have a general understanding of the mentality the hiking takes day after day and not underestimate what this hunt probably will put me through. But the shitty times are always the best times after their over.
 

WoodrowCall

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Mar 24, 2020
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Here’s some learning:


Lesson number 1: you’re not going to find 12 days worth of elk hunting in one spot. You or someone else will blow them well before you get to day 12.

Lesson number 2: building off of lesson number one, you don’t need to carry 12 days worth of gear on your back.

Lesson number 3: because you’re not going to be hunting the same drainage for 12 days, you need lots of plans and places to check out. See lesson 2 so you don’t carry more than you need while applying lesson number 3.


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Can I get an AMEN?
 

SoloWilderness

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Pine, CO
Here’s some learning:


Lesson number 1: you’re not going to find 12 days worth of elk hunting in one spot. You or someone else will blow them well before you get to day 12.

Lesson number 2: building off of lesson number one, you don’t need to carry 12 days worth of gear on your back.

Lesson number 3: because you’re not going to be hunting the same drainage for 12 days, you need lots of plans and places to check out. See lesson 2 so you don’t carry more than you need while applying lesson number 3.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This. I hunted that unit once for shits and giggles. There are a few elk there, like basically everywhere else in CO,WY,MT, ID, but there is also an insane amount of hikers. It is STEEP country, and even steeper than it looks on Google Earth. The areas I went into I would have been hard pressed to hunt effectively with 12 days worth of gear on my back. I would personally do 3-4 day loops through different areas and drainages. If you find elk, then stay with them, but otherwise I would keep moving light until you find elk. If you want to hunt a particular group of drainages, find a spot to drop food and resupply from. I haven't been back since, but it is pretty country, and enjoyable to hunt if not the most fruitful.
 

luckydraw2014

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@Crjones8 This place (Rokslide) is full of tough love and as a Newbie you probably don't get it yet. Anyone that posts up looking for advice on specific units or areas is going to get jabbed and poked. Poke around a bit and you'll see you are not in a unique position. Suck it up or get hammered. As I said before just roll with it and you'll be fine. :)
Asking questions about a unit that you haven't been to before is like telling someone you haven't felt TITS before and want to know how they feel....every unit is different and you have to go there to find out. got my butt kicked 2 years ago in the West Elk, but heading back this year.
 

sndmn11

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Mar 28, 2017
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Morrison, Colorado
I’d like to look for bear. I don’t know how realistic that is but I killed a black bear last year out of pure luck and now I just really want to kill another. My partner, elk is like his dream harvest. Id just assume kill a bear lol. Elk are awesome, don’t get me wrong. I just think taking a bear is cool too.

I already said this and I think you should really read it a few times and let it sink in. In the area you are talking about, your best archery elk hunting will be in the places where bears are concentrated.

Good luck.
 

Still Hunter

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OP,
Use the search function in here to gain some insight and knowledge. As you have found out, naming areas is not appreciated. Times have changed and there are so many more hunters in the woods. Hundreds of people read every post , if you name a GMU or a creek or a road or a drainage then it gets pulled up by hundreds of people reading this site. You went into too much detail. Accept the fact that your lack of experience on this site and you were so intent on gaining knowledge and positive feedback you never considered that 300 people would read your post and go to Google Earth and pull up the areas and start researching it. Ignorance can be corrected. It is a lack of knowledge of a subject. Several times a week a “newbie” pops in and ask all the same questions. Over and over and over. Use the search function. Tone down your “Alpha Male” responses, there is always someone bigger and badder and it sure won’t help you gain any friends in here or gain any knowledge and acceptance. There are some members in here that would have sent you a private PM and answered some of your questions but your “Alpha” male responses just went south. Elk hunting is humbling, physically and mentally. The mountains are unforgiving. You don’t even know what you don’t know. Every year we learn something new. I genuinely wish you luck on your elk hunt and I hope you can take this response in a positive way. I am assure you that the majority of the members in here would prefer it if you acknowledged your mistake, eat a little humble pie and become a positive influence in here rather than be a fly by night person who drops in a leaves before 50 post and exits mad and pissed off
 
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Scooter90254

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Man you guys are brutal. I think these guys deserve a warning before we completely lambast them for asking about a unit. Lol

Everyone was new at some point.

Seems like the OP learned the lesson and does seems to have a good attitude.

1. Finding elk isn’t going to be that hard. They will be moving. With all of the hikers and hunters the elk will be pushed all over the place.

2. After the first day or two the elk will be sneaking through the dark timber like spooked whitetails.

3. I hate to say this but in these units you aren’t really hunting elk your hunting spooked animals heading for cover. The elk habitat will quickly be left for cover once season opens. All your E scouting is not going to be very fruitful even if you’re correct.

4. Have fun and what a beautiful area to camp for 10 days.

5. Make sure your expectations are in line with reality. There’s going to be hunters everywhere. Don’t plan on being alone.

6. If you stumble into some elk that haven’t been disturbed try not to spook them. That will be your biggest enemy.

7. Have fun!
 

arock

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Sep 10, 2020
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Colorado
There's only so many access points and options if you're not using pack animals so that needs to be taken into account. You're gonna see people.

The not wilderness is an outdoor playground for jeepers, hikers and hippies. Being 2 hours from Denver makes it chaos when the weather is nice. ATVs, dirt bikes, craziness.

I dunno why people say they know the weather is unpredictable and then ask "but really what is the weather like". Probably, at that elevation, warm and sunny during the day maybe 40s at night. It could easily be 35, windy and sleet. If it gets cold and you don't have the gear to deal with it you're going to have a bad time and 12 days turns into 2 really quick. I was out for 4 days the first week in September last year. One hail storm to wait out (thank goodness I wasn't 5 miles from camp...) and it was below freezing two of the nights, comfortable one of the nights and unbearably hot the other.

Anyway - biggest thing is to have realistic expectations. Going back more than 2 miles in that type of country with +50 lbs is going to be difficult. Its extremely rugged country and walking with our without weight at +10,000ft is going to take more out of you then you expect regardless of the shape you're in. That isn't telling you not to do it or to be discouraging but if you're plan hinges on being able to get back 8 miles you're probably going to want to have a back up or three.

That being said you'll see some incredible country.

Tips for a better time
1. Stay hydrated and bring some kinda supplement for that. Liquid IV, Pedialyte, NUUN, LMNT - whatever works. You'll thank me.

2. Don't be afraid to move - which has been said a few times in this thread but super important. If they're not there they're not there.

3. Have cold weather gear in case the weather takes a turn. September is technically part of the monsoon season as well so take that fwiw.

4. InReach or other sat comm device with a panic button is great to have

5. Bring a camera \ take lots of pictures

RE: Bears - I stumbled across one at dusk last year (he could care less I was there) but haven't actually hunted one yet. If I was trying to take one, maybe find a berry patch between 9500 and 10000 feet and if there's fresh sign sit from a spot you're comfortable shooting from the next day or day after from super early to super late.

Have fun.
 

Hoyt Ag

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Mar 13, 2022
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I would consider going on a few days and then move if you dont see elk. Unless your unit just has no access points or something I am missing. My fear is you will get burned out and this is just from years of guiding and hunting on my own. Think about your hunting area in plans A-Z. Move between sections until you find elk. Use the truck as a basecamp or cache between days in the bush.
 

Bails-UK

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Jun 20, 2013
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Please review this thread:
Calling people names
Wow, really, I think this thread is quite a good thread, don't be that person Maverick1
I've also hunted said area 3x times with no success(read into that what you will), but unfortunately I do respect the unwritten law, on that note , hope you have a great trip Crjones8, all I will say is Google earth will tell you most of what you need to know .
 

Maverick1

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Wow, really, I think this thread is quite a good thread, don't be that person Maverick1
"Don't be that person" - - - ???

Let's do a quick recap of this situation so I can better understand what you mean by "don't be that person":

1. A new forum "junior member" creates this thread and asks for input on a particular area where he is considering hunting.
2. In his second post on this thread (and his second post ever on Rokslide?), he calls another member a "douche".
4. I post a link to a separate thread, specifically created by a Rokslide moderator, which indicates that calling people names will get you banned.
5. You post a reply, telling me "don't be that person"

So, explain to me how I am being "that person"? Am I "that person" person who.....supports the moderators as they monitor the forum on a daily basis, trying to keep things clean and civil......or am I "that person" who helps a new member out, sharing with them direction from the moderators, which may keep them from getting banned?....

I would like to understand what you mean by "don't be that person".
 

Bails-UK

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"Don't be that person" - - - ???

Let's do a quick recap of this situation so I can better understand what you mean by "don't be that person":

1. A new forum "junior member" creates this thread and asks for input on a particular area where he is considering hunting.
2. In his second post on this thread (and his second post ever on Rokslide?), he calls another member a "douche".
4. I post a link to a separate thread, specifically created by a Rokslide moderator, which indicates that calling people names will get you banned.
5. You post a reply, telling me "don't be that person"

So, explain to me how I am being "that person"? Am I "that person" person who.....supports the moderators as they monitor the forum on a daily basis, trying to keep things clean and civil......or am I "that person" who helps a new member out, sharing with them direction from the moderators, which may keep them from getting banned?....

I would like to understand what you mean by "don't be that person".
What I mean is, give the guy a chance to settle into the forum, yeah if the name calling reoccurs, by all means report it, since his mistake he ain't called anybody out. We've all done it in the past, but the post is an interesting one, which has highlighted some of the etiquette required to abide by.
I wasn't being a dick with you, just thought being as the guy only just started posting he get the benefit of the doubt.
 

tpm144

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Jun 24, 2022
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In my short time on here this seems to be about the most representative thread I've seen yet. Young guys who have never done this and are just trying to use their modern resources to learn and get a leg up get absolutely roasted on this forum by older more experienced guys. I've got no problem with it, and I did the same thing earlier this season and got a lot of comedic relief on my post as well (hunting GMU 77/78 in Colorado this year for my first archery elk hunt) but luckily there are a few genuine guys on here who want to pass down their knowledge. Seems like most of those type are smart enough to PM tho so they dont put a target on their own back LOL. Anyway, CrJones8, good luck on your hunt this year! Don't really have any advice for you other than dont get discouraged by the guys on here, just wade through it and keep checking your PM's for guys that really wanna help out.
 

Stoop383

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Freedom, WI
In all seriousness, it don't matter where you go or what you do if you don't have your priorities in order. Use thermals to your advantage, be mindful of how they are moving and how/when they will change, be mindful of the wind (different than the thermals!), be patient, be "hunting" every step you take, I have stumbled upon more elk than I can recall in timber as I was going to a location. Always keep your eyes peeled and always remember anywhere at anytime. Also, many many hunters walk past elk thinking they NEED to be 5+ miles from the road, don't be afraid to use that to your advantage early on before the elk know what time it is.
 

ResearchinStuff

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Jan 26, 2017
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PA
honestly, I can't think of anything better to do to someone who burns a spot and is then beligerantly argumentative with everyone than to recommend they spend 12 days hiking their entire kit around in some notoriously steep country. WKRs missed the boat big time on this thread.

I am genuinely curious though OP, what's your skin-out kit that weighs 65 pounds for 12 days? you've shaved about 20# off of where I would be at with adequate calories for the same time period. Are you omitting the clothes you wear or water or something like that?
 

trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
Some of you guys act as if there are "secret spots" to hunt in CO. I got news for ya. Those days are longggggggg gone.............
 
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